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World War II Resistance Member Haakon Sørbye, LA8Y, SK

09/21/2016

World War II Norwegian resistance activist Haakon Sørbye, LA8Y, of Trondheim, Norway, died on September 15, he was 96. In 1939, the year after World War II erupted in Europe, Sørbye, then an engineering student and young radio amateur, first enlisted as a telegrapher in the Norwegian military. After Norway surrendered to the Nazis, he joined the Norwegian resistance and became part of the “Skylark B” group — one of two radio communication teams that relayed to London information on the movement of German troops and supplies. The mostly student Skylark B team also alerted London when the Germans captured the world’s first plant to mass produce heavy water — a building block for the atomic bomb.

Most Skylark B members eventually were arrested by the Nazis, and seven of them died in extermination camps. Sørbye survived, however, and was rescued by the “White Buses” — an operation carried out by Swedish Red Cross members in early 1945 that saved more than 15,000 concentration camp survivors.

Following the war, Sørbye returned to school, eventually becoming a professor of telematics at the Norwegian Institute of Technology. In addition to the Defence Medal awarded to military and civilian personnel who took part in fighting the German invasion and occupation of Norway, he was decorated with the King’s Medal for Courage in the Cause of Freedom. -- Thanks to Pete Varounis, NL7XM

 

 



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